Jacob Hustedt in action this preseason for San Jose - Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Another day brings another trialist for Toronto FC and no surprise it is another player who plays a position where the team is well stocked. Anyone else starting to get anxious about the lack of actual signings?
Toronto FC has another trialist joining them in camp and sticking to the club's pattern in recent weeks he does not seem to fit the squad's most pressing needs and is yet another defensive player. The club confirmed via twitter this morning that midfielder (can also play defense) Jacob Hustedt has joined them on trial.
There is a chance that Hustedt will get his first action today in a preseason scrimmage against Sporting Kansas City. Toronto has split the squad into two groups for the day with one group training in the morning and the other group taking part in the scrimmage later on. Chances are that the lineup for the scrimmage will be made up of a couple players who need a bit more playing time but mainly consist of players who are still fighting to earn a contract. That group should now include Hustedt along with all the trialists that took to the field against Rollins College.
So what do we know about Jake Hustedt? Well, he was recently released by the San Jose Earthquakes after failing to make an appearance for their first team during his rookie season. They selected him 25th overall in the second round of the 2012 MLS SuperDraft after he had a fairly successful career at the University of Washington and Cal Poly. In his only season at Washington he picked up all Pac-12 honors as a vital piece of their midfield.
He failed to make an appearance for SJ in his one season there but that did not mean that he did not do enough to impress some of their closer observers. He reportedly had some impressive outings in training and many who had watched him in those games and training were a bit surprised to see the club release him.
Jacob Hustedt never made a first team appearance his rookie season, but when healthy, he did very well with the #SJEarthquakes reserves.— Robert Jonas (@robertjonas) February 16, 2013
The 23 year old has some intriguing potential but the fact that he played attacking midfield with Cal Poly, Washington, and San Jose's reserves puts him in a position that Toronto FC actually has a few options at. Hustedt even got his preseason off to a good start as he reportedly turned in some solid outings for the Earthquakes before they decided to release him. He even got his name on the score sheet with his effort in a 2-0 win over the Houston Dynamo in Tuscon, Arizona.
The club has Luis Silva and Kyle Bekker who can both play that central attacking role in the midfield but could use some additional depth should the coaching staff have plans of playing Bekker out wide or Silva up top this season. The squad could use bodies all over the field so to be fair adding depth anywhere (other than CB) is probably a good idea at this stage.
Attacking midfield seems to be his more natural position but he is also capable of filling in at other spots on the field. He has played down the right side of the pitch in the past serving as a winger and a defender. Based on the club's tweet calling him a defender there is a chance that they brought him in to having a look at him as a right back. That position would make a bit more sense as the club is thin on natural right backs behind Richard Eckersley. They have options like Jeremy Hall, Doneil Henry, and Matt Stinson to cover the spot but none have really been that convincing in the role. It is a spot that could use some help so if the club sees Hustedt as a possible option there it makes more sense to give him a look.
An attacking midfielder is not really the most pressing need on the team unless they are actually capable of contributing on the wings where the club is terribly thin. If Hustedt shows that he can fill a spot on the outside of the field then he might be worth a closer look. Toronto is bringing in a lot of trialists in recent days and some of them do fit needs but most of them are just players that bring some interesting potential. It is good to see the club looking at a variety of different players as competition for the remaining roster slots can only be a good thing.
Now, about those player signings...